Craniofacial Tissue Engineering With Citric-Acid Based Nanocomposite Scaffolds

Type of Award: Catalyst
Date Awarded: April 2014
Award End Date: March 2015
Amount Awarded: $ 166,008.00
PI(s): Russell R. Reid, MD, PhD, UChicago; Guillermo Ameer, ScD, NU; Tong-Chuan He, MD, PhD, UChicago;

Abstract: Craniofacial skeletal defects secondary to trauma (e.g., war or other ballistic injury), tumor, or congenital disease present challenging problems for reconstructive surgeons. One limitation in the repair of these defects lies in the finite supply of autologous tissue (i.e., bone) available. Engineering bone using osteoinductive scaffolds and cells capable of expansion and differentiation is a promising strategy. Two significant challenges exist: 1) in vivo induction of readily available stem cells that are effective towards craniofacial defect healing and 2) designing novel biomaterials that are amenable to such defects and provides a three-dimensional architecture for appropriate defect healing. Multidisciplinary strategies are required that combine materials science, cell biology, and clinical sciences effectively and seamlessly. Our project therefore mandates a multi-institutional approach that involves disciplines from two independent academic institutions, whose strengths are: 1. Molecular biology/animal model studies that have established the potency of BMP-9 in inducing stem cell osteogenesis both in vitro and in vivo (University of Chicago); 2. Biomaterials for tissue engineering applications, specifically novel, citric-acid based nanocomposite scaffolds (Northwestern University).